The new Education Cannot Wait fund is being launched next week at the two-day Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. “It is designed to cater the needs of 30 million displaced girls and boys, the largest population of girls and boys uprooted since 1945 – 20 million of whom have no choice at the moment and are unable to go to school,” UN Special Envoy Gordon Brown told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, via telephone.“This fund will be unique in many different ways,” he explained. “We will be the first to bridge the gap between humanitarian aid and development aid. At present education falls through the net. Most humanitarian aid goes – as you would expect – to food and shelter, and development aid is long terms and not geared to an emergency.”Mr. Brown highlighted that action has to be taken urgently because the sheer scale of numbers of children missing out on schooling is becoming a “full-blown global crisis.” He underscored that the new fund could be the only chance to save a generation lost to war, child marriage, forced labour and the recruiters for violent extremism. “We believe that this fund will offer young people hope, because when we ask ourselves what breaks the lives of once thriving young children, it’s not just the Mediterranean wave that submerged the life vest, it’s not just the food convoy that does not arrive in Syria, it is also the absence of hope; the soul crushing certainty that there is nothing ahead to plan or prepare for, not even a place in school,” the envoy warned.The fund – an historic, global first that will seek substantial sums from governments and business – is being hailed as a “game changer.” The funding campaign’s immediate aim is to raise $3.85 billion across the next five years. The goal is to recruit 100 major donors, from philanthropic foundations and the business sector as well as governments and international agencies.Figures from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) show that education aid receives less than two per cent of emergency funding. The new fund is expected to: offer up to five years of educational emergency, recognizing that the average time a refugee is out of his or her country is more than 10 years; have private sector, foundation and philanthropic windows and will be the first comprehensive education public partnership in humanitarian aid; and engage philanthropic companies in innovative solutions to deliver education, including bold experiments in online education to help refugees in camps and those holed up in hovels, huts and tents. The UN has stressed that the ultimate aim for Education Cannot Wait is to transform humanitarian aid for the future. “This is a lost generation we must help urgently. We live in a world where refugee needs are not temporary, with many spending more than a decade out of country,” said Mr. Brown. “For too long we have neglected the education of young people in conflict zones, at the cost of making youth the recruits for terrorist groups and their parents the most likely to leave and seek a better future for their children in Europe or America,” he added.Many businesses have already agreed to take part alongside many of the world’s top aid donors. Individual philanthropists have also been approached.The new fund will build on the recent Syrian initiative promising one million Syrian refugees schooling in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan but it will also occur in Nepal where 900,000 children are out of school because of the earthquake emergency, in South Sudan where one third of children are denied schooling and in Nigeria where Boko Haram have closed 5,000 schools. Meanwhile, the UN also announced today that almost 200 humanitarian partners from across the Pacific are heading to Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit, where the region’s experiences in responding to disasters and climate change will be high on the agenda.A total of 15 Pacific governments have signaled their commitment to send high level delegations to Turkey including Heads of Government from Fiji, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Nauru and Vanuatu.
Graph courtesy of Council of Ontario Universities Growing up in China, Jing Wen Luo knew she wanted to attend university in North America.She also knew she wanted to go to a school that would help her gain employment experience. Today she is working for Purolator, billed as Canada’s top courier company.“A lot of schools did not provide co-op to international students but Brock was an exception,” Luo says. “That’s why I chose Brock.”The 25-year-old, who graduated in 2014 from Brock University’s Goodman School of Business, says the five work terms she did while studying at Brock opened up the world of work to her.“My resume was literally blank,” she says, noting in China she was focused on her studies.Evidence shows that having a university education leads to more employment opportunities and higher paying jobs, according to the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).In its recent report University Works, COU used Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey (Ontarians 25 and older). It found university graduates have the highest employment rates among all post-secondary education levels — 73.7 per cent for those with a bachelor’s degree and 75 per cent for those with advanced degrees, compared to an employment rate of 72.4 per cent for college graduates.“College and university grads are just as likely to get jobs, but on average university graduates make significantly more money,” says the report’s author Cecilia Brain, economist and senior policy analyst with COU.The University Works report states that, on average, Ontario university graduates earn 58 per cent more than graduates of other Ontario post-secondary programs.The 2014-15 Graduate Employment Survey — conducted by CCI Research Inc. for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities — found the Brock University graduate employment rate six months after graduation was 91.1 per cent compared to 87.6 per cent in Ontario. Two years after graduation, Brock’s grad employment rate continues to top the provincial average, at 94.6 per cent compared to 93.6 per cent.Luo said her first co-op term taught her what she didn’t know about work and employment culture, and prepared her for her next work term – at Siemens Canada in Hamilton. She stayed in the role for two terms during a time of transition for the company, which was moving the plant to the U.S.“For me it was an opportunity, because a lot of people were leaving so the manager gave me a lot of responsibility,” she says.Seeing how companies are run, the importance of efficiencies, and a supply chain in action changed the course of her life, she says.“After that placement, I decided to add another concentration to my degree — operations management.” Finance was her other concentration.After Siemens, Luo spent two work terms at Hydro One.“It opened my eyes to how different the company culture can be,” she recalls.Luo says Brock gave her the tools she needed to be competitive in the job market following graduation.“It’s dramatic. I don’t know how I would have turned out without the co-ops. I grew so much from one work term to another. Co-ops really expedited the process of the development of me.”After graduating, Luo turned down a job offer at Siemens for a role at Purolator, where they are doing a pilot project focused on developing young professionals. The job was tailored for her, after she spent the day with CEO Patrick Nangle. That was the result of winning CEO x1 Day, a highly competitive contest for university students.Hiring Brock co-op students full-time following graduation is not unusual for the Toronto accounting firm Collins Barrow, says Chief Operating Officer Rhonda Klosler.Collins Barrow Chief Operating Officer Rhonda Klosler“We continue to recruit from Brock,” says Klosler. “We are a very entrepreneurial organization and we find the students who go to Brock have a similar mindset.”Klosler knows the Brock culture well. She graduated with a Business Administration degree in 1993.She worked co-op for the accounting firm Smith Nixon, which eventually merged with Collins Barrow.“I’ve essentially been with the same firm for my entire career and it’s as a result of Brock’s co-op program,” she says. “The opportunities that are available to students in the co-op program are limitless and I’m proof of that.”Julia Zhu, Associate Director of Co-op Programs at Brock, says the University has one of Ontario’s most diverse offerings of courses that include a co-op component.“We are one of the leaders in providing co-op education,” she says.Brock’s commitment to co-op programs is about preparing students for the job market and helping them use the knowledge they learn in the classroom in the work world.“It’s a way to gain hands-on experience and test drive opportunities,” she says.Anna Lathrop, Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning, says experiential learning is one of Brock’s defining pillars, and co-op is an important part of that.“We feel that we are preparing the 21st century learner,” says Lathrop. “The co-op experience is designed to reinforce the theory in an employment setting.”Every year, Canadian employers take more than 1,000 Brock students into the workplace, and the co-op job placement rate is higher than 90 per cent.Zhu says students have to apply to take part in a co-op program while still in high school, and grade requirements are higher. As well, students are taught to get co-op work placements using traditional job search techniques, including resumes and cover letters, and interviews.“By the time they leave Brock, they will have life-long employment skills,” Zhu says.Graph courtesy of Council of Ontario Universities